On December 23, when Lalu Prasad Yadav reached the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi after his conviction in a Fodder Scam case, two of his aides were already there. The news triggered an uproar on VIP privileges and the duo were released on January 10; however, controversy may heat up again as the duo have been reported missing.
Before Lalu's conviction hearing on December 23, Madan Yadav and Laxman Mahto had surrendered in a false case, so that they could allegedly be at the beck and call of the Rashtriya Janata Dal president in jail.
A few days before, Sumit Yadav, a Ranchi resident, had alleged that the duo had assaulted him and stolen Rs10,000.
The first information report, filed at the Lower Bazar police station, said the incident happened around 8.15am on December 23. Interestingly, Sumit had first gone to the nearby Doranda police station, but the officer in-charge, possibly suspecting foul play, refused to register an FIR. It was then that he went to the Lower Bazar station.
Within hours of the FIR being filed, Madan and Laxman surrendered before the chief judicial magistrate and were remanded to judicial custody and sent to Birsa Munda jail. On January 10, however, they were released from jail after Sumit's complaint was found to be fake. Since then, both of them have been missing. Sumit is also missing.
Apparently, the speed with which the two ended in jail aroused the police's suspicion. “We have found that the case lodged by Sumit was false and no incident of brawl between the parties took place,” a national newspaper quoted senior police superintendent Kuldip Dwivedi as saying.
Police investigation has revealed that Laxman and Madan used to work as cooks in Bihar. They moved to Ranchi after Lalu was removed as chief minister. They then started selling milk.
The RJD, however, denied reports that Laxman was Lalu's cook, but confirmed that both were party workers.
“It is wrong to say that the duo has gone to jail purposely. Both had been to jail in connection with a criminal case lodged against them,” said RJD spokesperson Shakti Singh Yadav.
Madan and Laxman have the same lawyer, who said he did not know of any possible conspiracy, but added that neither the accused nor their families had pressed for bail. With the two now missing, the case gets murkier.
The question is, why did the Lower Bazar police station file the case and provide the copies of the FIR to the accused?
Point of interest—when Lalu was first convicted in a Fodder Scam case in 2013, guess who was there in jail with him? Madan Yadav.